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Shippers’ council seek ministry’s help to ease cost burden amid weak exports

28 Jun 2020 / 21:03 H.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian National Shippers’ Council (MNSC) has raised concerns over new export orders amid weak global demand, following a decline in the export of goods and services for the third consecutive quarter. This is despite seaborne freight levels returning to close to what they were before the movement control order (MCO).

Data showed that in first-quarter 2020, exports declined by 7.1%, attributable to the global economic recession and decreased trade volume caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It went on to note that shippers’ activities have been further dampened due to the shutout of ports around the world.

“This issue is further exacerbated as most ports in the world practise 14 days quarantine for the crew and cargo for import shipments and thus this limits the shipping services which inevitably increases the cost of shipping.

“Based on feedback from shippers, we note also the increase in logistics costs of between 10% and 20% which will further cripple Malaysia’s export competitiveness during this recovery period,” it said.

As such, the MNSC is urging the Transport Ministry to intervene with the shipping lines to urge them to waive or to provide discounts on demurrage and detention charges due to delays in collection of the cargo held during the MCO.

“These charges based on daily surcharge have accumulated to a significant amount and have been passed on directly to shippers/ manufacturers. This measure is an important step to ensuring shippers’ ability to cope and their survival during this unprecedented period failing which there would be detrimental impact on the overall economy,” the council added.

It lauded the ministry’s prior intervention to urge port authorities to waive port-related charges, as this has led Port Klang, Johor and Sabah port authorities to grant waiver on port storage charges during the MCO, therefore leading to a reduction in shippers’ financial losses.

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